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Full Freeview on the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps53.625,-2.516 or 53°37'30"N 2°30'56"Wsa_postcodeBL6 6SL


The symbol shows the location of the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter which serves 2,690,000 homes. The bright green areas shown where the signal from this transmitter is strong, dark green areas are poorer signals. Those parts shown in yellow may have interference on the same frequency from other masts.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Winter Hill transmitter broadcast?

If you have any kind of Freeview fault, follow this Freeview reset procedure first.

Digital television services are broadcast on a multiplexes (or Mux) where many stations occupy a single broadcast frequency, as shown below.

 H max
C32 (562.0MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) North West, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 16 others

 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Granada), 4 Channel 4 (SD) North ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 North ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Granada),

 H max
C35- (585.8MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Granada), 104 Channel 4 HD North ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! movies action, 46 Channel 5 +1, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 74 Dave ja vu, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 57 Smithsonian Channel, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 75 Yesterday +1, 83 Together TV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 71 Quest Red +1, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 88 Classic Hits, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 others

 H -20dB
C40 (626.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Manchester,

 H -17dB
C24 (498.0MHz)572mDTG-122,000W
Channel icons
from 30th June 2014: 7 Bay TV Liverpool,

 H -20dB
C56 (754.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Lancashire,

 H -20dB
C57 (762.0MHz)572mDTG-21,000W
Channel icons
 Spotlight TV,  Now 70s,  Country Music Entertainment , 63 GREAT! movies Christmas 1, 77 NOW 80s, 80 Clubland TV, 87 Now 90s, 91 Classic Hits MCR,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-2 16QAM 2K 3/4 18.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Winter Hill transmitter?

regional news image
BBC North West Tonight 3.1m homes 11.8%
from Salford M50 2QH, 22km southeast (139°)
to BBC North West region - 92 masts.
regional news image
ITV Granada Reports 3.1m homes 11.6%
from Salford M50 2EQ, 22km southeast (139°)
to ITV Granada region - 80 masts.

How will the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1956-80s1984-971997-981998-20092009-132013-182013-1720 Feb 2020
C49tv_off ArqAArqA
C50tv_off BBCABBCA

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) after November 2020 / June 2022 - more
Table shows multiplexes names see this article;
green background for transmission frequencies
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W T
waves denotes analogue; digital switchover was 4 Nov 09 and 2 Dec 09.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 500kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 100kW
com7(-12.9dB) 25.7kW
com8(-13.4dB) 22.6kW
Analogue 5(-16dB) 12.5kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 10kW
LL(-24dB) 2kW
GIM, LM, LPR(-27dB) 1000W

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Winter Hill transmitter area

May 1956-Jul 1968Granada Television†
May 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Feb 2004Granada Television
Feb 2004-Dec 2014ITV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only.

Friday, 25 August 2017
10:41 PM

Thanks for the prompt reply, I appreciate that the ERP is much lower on the Local M Multiplex. (and looking at the target area Winter Hill isn't really the best place for it! )
I don't have a signal strength meter but if it's any help as a comparator I can receive the main multiplexes with a long piece of wet string, or a pair of rabbit ears!
M45 area, am I able to message my postcode directly to you?

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woz's 11 posts GB
Saturday, 26 August 2017

11:01 AM


We need you to put your full post code into this website as then we get to see the series of small blue boxes (links) beneath your postings. Only then can we see what the reception conditions are at your location.

You normally don't need a signal strength meter as most Freeview televisions provide a strength and quality reading. Check your User Manual for how to display that on the TV screen.

You should not assume that just because the 'normal' channels are strong then the local chanel will be as well, they usually use a direction aerial system to control the coverage area and prevent interference with other transmissions.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB
Sunday, 27 August 2017
3:37 PM

Mike, thanks for the reply.
My comments about the signal strength were from having looked at various TV's Signal strength/quality indicators.
Other multiplexes are showing 95 to 100% with no errors on the SD channels and some (concealed) errors on the HD Multiplexes.
The LM Multiplex is showing approx. 18% with no errors. Pity I never looked at the Local strength before the recent retune.
I think I'd be more likely to cause interference issues on the good channels if I were to boost the signal.
I'd be interested to hear what sort of strength others are seeing when comparing the main multiplexes with the Local M, when their locations are similar, although It's unlikely anyone else would be interested as the audience share is tiny.
Sorry about the postcode thing, I finally figured out how to enter it!
Thanks for all your help.

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woz's 11 posts GB
3:44 PM

Just a curiosity - how do Winter Hill transmitter engineers measure the field strength coverage? Is it all theoretical or do they go to pre-defined locations and actually measure it?

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woz's 11 posts GB
Monday, 28 August 2017

10:37 AM


Look at the predicted signal reception at Coverage Checker - Detailed View This shows you should get signals on the L-Man multiplex (channel 56) reasonably well but unlikely to get reliable reception on the G-Man multiplex (channel 57).

If your signal strengths are above 85% for any channel, especially HD ones, then you have too much signal and that can cause serious break up of sound and/or picture. So fitting an amplifier would be counterproductive as it would destroy what is currently reasonable reception! In fact, you should reduce the received strngths slightly with a 3 dB attenuator, that should give better results, especially on the HD channels. You do not want the strength to be less than 60% for HD or 50% for SD.

I suspect that you will not be able to enjoy the G-Man services and may not have reliable L-Man services.

Transmission of the L-Man and G-Man multiplexes is directional and now all round the transmitter, so it seems you are outside the predicted reception area for G-Man and perhaps on the edge for L-Man.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB

10:46 AM


Signal radiation patterns are determined both by local measurements and computerised predictions based on those measurements and knowledge of the terrain. The operators do recheck from time to time by doing field measurements, especially if a new aerial is fitted to the mast. For example, a local multiplex is usually intended to have a limited coverage area and to avoid interference with other signals they check that the aerial it uses is aimed correctly to give the desired coverage.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB
Sunday, 1 October 2017
7:07 PM

Hi, I recently got a new TV (old one didn't have freeview hd) and now have HD but have noticed some HD channels are saying no signal. They all seem to be com 7 (and maybe com8) and show on the EPG. The aerial is high on the roof and seems to have two rods however all the neighbours have a single rod. The gent I bought the house from was 88 so it may not have been updated for sometime. Do you think the aerial may be the issue or that I am not in the right area (wn68ds) for com 7?
Cheers, Andy.

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Andy's 3 posts GB
Monday, 2 October 2017

3:14 PM


Having looked at the blue links below your posting, namely the 'digitaluk trade' (at Coverage Checker - Detailed View and the 'Freeview map' (at Freeview reception at WN68 DS) it should be perfect reception. However, is your aerial a Group C/D type or a wide band type? Com7 is on channel 31 and most Group C/D aerials are poor at that lower frequency, so will need to be replaced by a wide band type, preferably a log-periodic which will be suitable for several years. Com8 is on Channel 37 which should be being picked up by your aerial, though it may be weaker than you 'main' channels.

So you need to do a signal strength check on channels 31, 37 and 49 (the ArqA multiplex). For good HD reception you need signal strength between 60% and 85%, any less is too weak and any more is too strong for reliable reception of HD services.

One other possible source of problems are the 4 mobile masts quite close to your location. If they are a source of problems you shoudl contact At800 (see and discuss any issues with them.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB

10:45 PM

Andy: Give us a model and make of the TV to make sure it does have an HD tuner. But if you are getting 101, etc, but not other HD channels, then your either in an area which doesn't have those services (light transmitter?), or you have a problem with your system.

Check signal strength and then the signal path - if the TV is telling you there is no signal, the TV is OK and telling you its your system. Could be as basic as a rubbish aerial lead into the TV.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
10:09 AM

Hi Mike & Mike,
sorry for the delayed reply but didnt get a notification of your comments so just found it when re looking.

I think the tv should be fine as like you say I am getting other hd channels but its a panasonic TX-50CX700B. I'm not sure what aerial it is but I don't think its wide band.

Just done a signal check and 31 is 0 signal quality and flashes on and off between 0- 52% signal strength. 37 has 100% signal quality and 30% signal strength and 49 has 100% signal quality and 94% signal strength.


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Andy's 3 posts GB
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